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Germany April 2020: Sales drop limited to -61.1% to lowest month since August 1982

BMW manages to contain its loss to -49.9% in Germany in April.

12/05 update: Now with Top 50 brands, Top 300 All-models and Top 285 private sales.

Under a national COVID-19 curfew since March 22 and up until April 20 when showrooms around the country started reopening, German new car sales still manage to somewhat contain their loss in April to -61.1% year-on-year and 120.840 units. Even though our records show this is the lowest monthly volume in Germany in 38 years, since August 1982 (119.557), it is a much better hold, again, than all other major European countries France (-88.8%), Spain (-96.5%), the UK (-97.3%) and Italy (-97.5%). As a result, in April Germany will account for close to half of all European sales: it currently stands at 48% of our preliminary total of 19 markets and has lowered the European year-on-year drop to under 80% at -79.9% for now. The year-to-date tally is now down -30.9% to 822.202 and at this stage we at BSCB forecast a 2020 volume down -20% to 2.88m units, that’s excluding the potential positive effects of a mulled scrappage scheme that could be implemented in June.

The last time the German market was so low, the first generation VW Golf was #1.

Fleet sales are off -63.2% to 70.208 and 58.1% share vs. 61.4% in April 2019 while private sales drop a more modest -57.8% to 50.632 and 41.9% share vs. 38.6% a year ago. Petrol sales are down -67.3% to account for just under half the market at 49.9% share and 60.295 units vs. 59.4% in April 2019. Diesel sales drop -62.7% to 38.836 and 32.1% share vs. 33.5% a year ago, hybrid sales only edge down -1.4% to 16.573 and a whopping 13.7% share vs. just 5.4% a year ago, that includes 5.618 (4.6%) PHEVs. Finally, EV sales are also almost stable at -2.8% to 4.635 units and 3.8% share vs. 1.5% in April 2019. Note also 286 (0.2%) natural gas-powered and 191 (0.2%) liquid gas-powered cars were registered this month in Germany.

Tesla is up 10.4% year-on-year in April.

Over in the brands ranking, Volkswagen (-63.9%) falls slightly faster than the market to 17.2% share vs. 18.8% YTD but BMW (-49.9%) is the only Top 12 brand to lose less than half its year-ago volume, resulting in a 2nd place overall (the first this year) and a smashing 10.3% market share, its highest since December 2018. Below, Ford (-61.7%) and Audi (-61%) match the market whereas Mercedes (-71.2%) drops faster and is down 3 spots on March to #5. In the remainder of the Top 10, Seat (-52.4%), Skoda (-57.1%) and Renault (-58.3%) post the best holds, Fiat (-62.3%) is on-market but Opel (-72.8%) implodes. Further down, Tesla (+10.4%) and Ferrari (+6.9%) are the only brands in Germany to post a year-on-year gain just as DS (-20%), Jaguar (-29.3%), Lamborghini (-38.5%), Mini (-39.2%), Rolls Royce (-40%), Volvo (-40.8%), Lada (-41.5%) and Land Rover (-42.7%) all manage to contain their losses somewhat.

The BMW X3 lifts its ranking record from #22 to #5. Picture autobild.de

Model-wise, below the VW Golf (-69.3%) suffering markedly more than its home market, the Ford Focus (-42.5%) leaps up 3 spots on March to land a record #2 for the second time in the past 3 months, knocking the VW Tiguan (-62.3%) down to #3. The Fiat Ducato (-58.6%) is up to #4 as it loads up on campervan-dedicated sales before the summer, but the best performer this month is the BMW X3 (-8.6%) up 34 spots on March to land at #5, smashing its previous ranking record of #22 hit in January and September 2019. The BMW 3 Series (-37.6%), Mini lineup (-39.2%) and VW T-Roc (-53.5%) also manage to lose less ground than the market in the remainder of the Top 10. The VW T-Cross (+91.2%) is the only gainer in the Top 50 and the Skoda Kamiq (#51) is the most popular recent launch above the Ford Puma (#54), Mazda CX-30 (#80) and Mercedes GLB (#87).

Previous month: Germany March 2020: BMW 3 Series scores first podium in 6.5 years in market down -37.7%

One year ago: Germany April 2019: VW (-11.2%), Audi (-12.8%) struggle, Fiat Ducato leaps to #3 in 7th market fall in past 8 months

Full April 2020 Top 50 brands, Top 300 All-models and Top 285 All private sales below.

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